In July 1970 the administrator of the Canal Zone established the “Panama Canal Honorary Public Service Award” for the purpose of: Encouraging and recognizing Isthmian residents and organizations for their efforts in assisting the Panama Canal Commission (PCC) in accomplishing its mission; Encouraging and recognizing the voluntary works or services of Isthmian residents, including employees and organization, in improving the Isthmian community..
The award consisted of a gold, silver or bronze medal 3 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick in its original presentation box, a paper certificate and a lapel pin depicting the medal. The obverse is a reproduction of the bronze plaque designed by James Fraser honoring the memory of Colonel David D. Galliard, project engineer-in-charge of digging the Galliard Cut of the Panama Canal. The original plaque was set into the face of Contractor's Hill in Galliard Cut but was moved to Administration Building at Balboa Heights. The plaque is symbolic of the removal of the last shovel full of earth from the Cut. Above the symbol reads: THE PANAMA CANAL and below: HONORARY PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD. On the reverse of the medal on a plain background is the statement: "For Exceptional Public Service" and a panel for inscribing the recipients name. It was struck by the Metallic Art Company of New York.
The 3 levels of award are as follows:
The Gold Medal: In recognition for voluntary service of impact to the Canal Zone, the Isthmian community and internationally. Three awards where given annually..
The Silver Medal: In recognition of voluntary service of regional impact to the Canal and the community. Six silver medals awards where given annually.
The Bronze Medal: For action or voluntary service of impact within a division, a military installation or the community. Twelve awards where given annually.
The honorees where selected from a list of names provided by local civic, labor, fraternal, religious and federal agencies on the Isthmus of Panama. Evaluated by the Incentive Awards Committee and the winners announced by the Canal Zone Government office in latter date by the Canal Commission Administrator.
For 30 years more than 600 awards where issued, we have identified the following recipients:; Carmela Lowe de Gobern; Tilcia McTaggart; Raymond Dragseth, Robert McGuinness; Eduard Gaskin; Gisela Van Bueren, Lorenzo Quarless, Cedric Gittens, Carmen Cuprill-Young, Cecilio Reynolds, SAMAAP, Hubert A. Thompson, Melva Lowe de Goodin, Emily Butcher, Lemuel B. Shirley, Juan Palacio, Carlos Rodgers, Samuel McGuinness, Al Sprague, Bruce Quinn, The Dedicators, Cecil William and the Panama Canal Society of Florida.
The program came to a close at the turn over of the Canal to the republic of Panama in 2000.